Philippines-Norway Relations

The Philippines and Norway enjoy robust and cordial relations in all three pillars of Philippine foreign policy- economic, political and people-to- people cooperation.

The maritime sector is one of the most important aspects of RP-Norway bilateral relations, dating back to the 1900's. Today, Norwegian ship owners employ approximately 35,000 Filipino seafarers in shipyards or on board Norwegian owned or controlled vessels, a testimonial to the trust and confidence Norwegian shipowners have placed over the years for Filipino seafarers. Despite the global economic crisis that ravaged the shipping industry in 2008 and 2009, this area of employment has not slackened. Filipino seafarers benefit as well from the education and training provided by sophisticated Norwegian maritime training schools in the Philippines. Norwegian ship owners have been building and repairing vessels in Philippine shipyards. Many companies engaged in the maritime sector have put up offices in the Philippines.

Other areas point to a promising future. With the purchase in 2007 of the Magat and Ambuklao and Binga hydroelectricity plants by SN Power and their Filipino partner, the Aboitiz group, cooperation in the area of renewable energy between the two countries should continue as both countries have declared their commitments to develop and use renewable energy. New areas of commercial cooperation include aquaculture, telecommunications, the petroleum sector and the use of IT in outsourcing. There has also been a marked increase in the number of Norwegian tourists visiting the Philippines.

There is an increasing number of Filipinos in Norway, now home to over 12,000 hard-working and highly educated Filipinos. In addition to Filipinos who have intermarried with Norwegians, there are at least 900 licensed Filipino nurses , over a hundred oil engineers employed mostly in offshore projects in the western coast of Norway and Filipinos or Norwegians of Filipino descent working in the government sector, diplomatic missions and NGO's and commercial establishments. While fiercely proud of their heritage, Filipinos in Norway have shown a remarkable capacity to integrate into Norwegian culture and at the same time contribute elements of their culture making this Scandinavian society a melting pot of diverse cultures. The 2007 Miss Norway, Miss Kirby Ann Basken, is half Filipino, half Norwegian. They have also time and again rallied to the help of their motherland, the Philippines, when disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes strike. They remit a good amount of their earnings to their families in the Philippines and have their own investments in the country of their origin.

Norway is also playing a significant role as a third-party facilitator between GOP and the CCP-NDF-NPA, in the Philippine government's efforts to find a lasting solution in the peace process. Both countries have also supported each other in the United Nations and other fora, especially in the areas of human rights, gender equality and global peace.

History of Philippine-Norwegian Diplomatic Relations

The Philippines established diplomatic relations with Norway on 2 March 1948. Minister Nikolai Aal was the first official to represent Norway in the Philippines (based in what was then Nanking, China). From 1952 to 1956, Norway was represented by a Consulate, later, by a Consulate General in Manila. The Embassy was opened in 1967.

In the past, the Philippine Ambassador in the United Kingdom was responsible for our relations with Norway along with Denmark. In June 1986, this responsibility was transferred from the Philippine Embassy in London to the Philippine Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.

Due to the increasing number of Filipinos in Norway as well as the many promising opportunities in energy and marine/maritime-related fields, the Philippines established its Embassy in Oslo, Norway on 30 April 2007.